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windows of a lady's outfitter's shop without weeping; and
ALEXANDER HAMILTON.* the only thing which prevents laughter in front of a bon
II. net-shop is the prices. A lady may suffer from severe facial neuralgia on exposure to cold; but if the goddess of fashion
(CONTINUED FROM MARCH NUMBER.] decree that the bonnet shall be worn on the back of the It was already the daybreak of the Revolution. The rank head, she must suffer patiently till the reaction to poke offenses of Great Britain against colonial liberty had gone bonnets arrives; then she will have a temporary respite up to heaven. The Boston Port Bill was passed in Marels from her agony, till the next change again leaves the facial of '74. The colonists spoke openly of resistance. The conarea exposed. She may have sensitive eyes; but no shade servatives, royal ofħicers, reactionary sycophants, and tory of headdress shall protect her from the sun's piercing rays, ecclesiastics said "treason.” Then the people spoke louder unless broad-brimmed hats happen to be a la mode. If her than before. New York was shaken. A committee of deskin is sensitive and given to blister, there is a legion of fense was appointed, but the people ran ahead of the comcosmetics advertised-at prices which make a serious in: mittee. As a matter of fact the people are always ahead of road on a lady's pin-money. To beautify the skin and clear the committee. When you want any delicate piece of mincthe complexion, it is not essential to wear a suitable head ing conservatism attended to, you should always appoint de dress; the modiste settles the form of hat or bonnet, and if committee. In the day of doubt and danger it is the magthe cosmetic-vendor is benefited thereby, why, there is no netism and example of personal leadership that brings up great objection to that.' Is not the lady of fashion one of Israel out of Egypt. the fat kine, on which the lean kine can subsist ? and the In the beginning of July, the people of New York called inodiste plays into her fellow-trader's hands.
a meeting "in the fields." The particular field in question What can be said also of the fashionable life, so craved after was in sight, almost in hearing, of Columbia College, by many who can not enter it, so loathed by many who can Young Hamilton attended the meeting. The speakers had not get out of it? Ladies setting off at midnight to a ball, fire and enthusiasm; but the stripling said to his friends and dancing till daylight, with what stimulants, alcoholic "They have not argued the question." Thereupon he was. and vinous, let the novelists who aspire to depict high life calle
Ie went up pale and tremulous to the be the evidence; turning day into night, and night into stand, and from that day the slender collegian was a man day, for no earthly reason except that such life contrasts of note in the American colonies. His life-work had risery with every other life. No wonder a cup of tea is requisite, upon him in an hour. the first thing in the morning, to rouse the jaded frame to Events followed swift and fast. The military spirit broke: sustain the effort of dressing, aided by a cold bath, to give out. Political societies were formed. Liberty was debated. a fictitious sense of energy; or some potent wine at lunch The man of brains and courage was at a premium. The to keep up the delicate frame. A season of fashionable life skulk and the coward went to their own place. The requires an autumn in the country, or at Carlsbad—"for students of Columbia College took fire. Hamilton organipapa's gout”-in order to set the young frames up again. It ized them and some other young men of the city into an may be a life of pleasure to be looked forward to in the artillery company, and was chosen captain. In the hour of grand optimism of youth; but what is there in it to make danger and glory the first man is always made the captain. it pleasant to look back upon? It is an outrage on all phys In the day of buncombe the last man is made captain. Iniological laws. It makes the life of a lady of bon ton more the hour of danger and glory men want a hero for a leader. arduous than ber housemaid's, more irksome than a ballet In the day of buncombe they want a fool for a figure-head.dancer's. Yet because it is the life of the highest circles, The war came on in earnest, and Hamilton, at the headi those in the social strata beneath think it is to be coveted. of his volunteer company of artillerymen, immediately be-The physiologist thinks otherwise; and very decidedly so gan to display those sterling qualities for which his military too.—Good Words.
career is distinguished. He studied the art of war with a zeal unsurpassed among the officers of the Continental
army. With an infallible intuition, he adapted the military Vor LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE.- T'hese words are quoted in science of the books to the somewhat anomalous conditions a collection of epitaphs by Pettigrew, published by Lacking under which the revolutionary campaigns must be conton early in the nineteenth century. The tomb on which they ducted. He had the fire and enthusiasm of Greene, the occur is that of Mary Angel, widow, who died at Stepney daring of Wayne, and the caution of Washington. 1693, aged seventy-two. The inscription runs thus:
A few days after the battle of White Plains, in whielTo say an angel here interred doth lye
Hamilton's battery had taken a conspicuous part, when the May be thought strange, for angels never dye.
American army, undisciplined and dispirited, was recedIndeed some fell from Heaven to hell;
ing across Manhattan into the Jerseys, the attention of Are lost and rise no more.
Washington was called to a redoubt which some one had This only fell from death to earth,
thrown up at Haarlem Heights. The general was astonished Not lost, but gone before.
at the skill manifested in the construction of the work. He Her dust lodged here, her soul, perfect in grace, Mongst saints and angels now lath took its place.
inquired by whose command it had been built, and was answered, by Captain Hamilton of the artillery. The young
officer was sent for to the quarters of the commander-inNINE TAILORS MAKE A MAX.--In North's "Church Bells of chief. It was the conjunction of Jove and Mercury. The Leicestershire," the author, in speaking of tolling for the two soldiers met, and such was the profound impression dead, says: “These tolls are called 'tellers,' and it hus made
upon the mind of Washington, that the slender fair-been suggested that the old saying 'Nine tailors make a faced captain was invited to become the general's aid and man' is a corruption of 'Nine tellers mark a man,' mean private secretary. Hamilton saw that to accept was to de ing that three times three tolls or tellers are struck on the prive himself of that military glory which was almost sure: passing bell for a man." At Wimbledon it is still the cus to follow active service in the field; but to accept was also tom to strike three times three for an adult male and three to be constantly in the companionship and confidence of times two for a female on the tenor bell; but for children the Cincinnatus of the West. He chose the latter, and beunder twelve the treble bell is used, and the strokes are
*A lecture delivered in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua, Angost. twice three for a male, and twice two for a female.
1881, by James Clarke Ridpath, LL. D. С
*fore he was twenty years of age had so won the favor of his career as a soldier. His extreme youth and the restrictions -chief as to become through life his most trusted counselor. with which he was hampered as a member of the general's
There is not perhaps in all history an instance of personal staff obscured the display of his military talents. Yet as attachment more remarkable, more lasting, more unselfish, occasion offered, his daring and celerity in the field shone more honorable, than that of Washington and Hamilton. out with peculiar luster. He it was who brought up the Great was the disparity between them. Washington was shattered rear in the perilous retreat from Long Island. sedate and saturnine; Hamilton was communicative and Think of a boy of nineteen on such a duty as that! No sociable. In discerning the ultimate principle of things wonder that Greene and Washington were astonished. At Washington was slow and dull; Hamilton, quick as an the dangervus passage of the Raritan, with the enemy on electric flash. Washington could see a fact, but not its the other bank and the river fordable, it was Hamilton's -secret springs and causes; in the power to discover the batteries, placed on the heights, that blazed into the face of principia and germs of things, Hamilton surpassed all other the foe until the patriots were safe out of reach. He it was men of the Revolutionary epoch. Washington could handle who broke the letters which laid bare the treachery of events in mass; Hamilton could interpret them. The mind Arnold, and he it was who first revealed to Washington of Washington moved to its purpose with heavy strides; the that deep-laid scheme of villainy and treason. Wh-n at intellect of Hamilton flew to the mark with unerring last, on the night of the 14th of October, the British redoubts accuracy. Washington labored to express that which he at Yorktown were to be carried by storm, Hamilton, by knew to be right and true, but there was always spherical special request made to Washington, was ordered to lead and chromatic aberration about the things he saw; in Ham- the American advance. Taking his place at the head of ilton's mind every fact whirled into focus with the rapidity the column, he and his men dashed forward and tore and precision of the most perfect instrument. Washington through the abatis as if it were a sport of the holidays; and was the least ambitious of all the great men known in his-while the British shells were blazing and bursting in the tory; in Hamilton's breast the fires of a high ambition darkness, Hamilton, unhurt, with sword in hand, placed burned day and night with inextinguishable brightness. his foot on the shoulder of a soldier and was the first man But in sincere devotion, lofty patriotism, and unspotted to leap the parapet in the last charge of the Revolution. bounduess of character, it would be hard to assign the palm. The rest came pouring after, and the blackened redoubt was
It thus happened that the Hamiltonian intellect became carried without the firing of a gun. the interpreter of the Washingtonian desire. Upon the On the evening of the 23d of October, 1781, the watchmen thing which Washington reached for in the darkness Ham- of Philadelphia, going their nightly rounds, uttered this ilton turned the full light of his genius. From his hand welcome cry: “Ten o'clock! Starlight night! Cornwallis -came nearly all the papers and dispatches of the general-in- | is taken!" It was a fitting thing that this glorious procchief. Much of the chaos of the Revolutionary tumult sank lamation of freedom and victory should thus be made under into order under Hamilton's amazing activities. He was the eternal benignity of the open heavens and the silent everywhere present. He advised in everything. The dis benediction of the stars, in the streets of that old town cipline of the headquarters of the army was his work. At which first among the cities of the world had heard the the public dinners which Washington sometimes gave to declaration that all men are created equal. Though peace his officers and to the great men of the colonies, Hamilton lagged for a season, the war was at an end. The patriots presided with the grace and dignity of the most accom who at Concord and Lexington had begun a battle for the plished diplomat. ' If any hazardous business arose, requir. rights of Englishmen had ended by winning their indeing celerity and silence, Hamilton was sent to do it. He it pendence. was who gave Arnold his desperate chase down the river: In all history there is nothing more pitiable than the conit was the avenging angel after the devil. If some matter dition of the civil governinent of the United States during of great and responsible management, like the bringing and just after the Revolution. While the army, under the down from the North of the army of the inflated Gates, was lead of Washington, covered the American name with to be undertaken, Hamilton was commissioned for the glory, Congress, under the lead of nobody, covered it with work. If some low scheme of inter-colonial intrigue and contempt. Of a certainty it was not the fault of the great jealousy, portending ruin to the patriot cause, had to be and patriotic men who for the most part comprised that outwitted and brought to open shame, Hamilton was ap- body; but it was the inherent weakness of the puerile organpointed to the task. He it was-and it is one of the secret ism under which they were expected to act. The confedpassages of bistory-who drew the blatant Wilkinson to erate system, as hurriedly devised amid the terrors of war Lord Stirling's dinner table, knowing that he would heat in the summer of 1777, was the very climax of organic weakhimself with wine and divulge the treasonable conspiracy ness-the paragon of political imbecility. Never since the of Conway, Miffin, and Gates against Washington, which days of the Amphictyonic councils of 'Greece had the anHamilton had scented in the air during his recent visit to nals of mankind presented a parallel to the farcical absurdthe North. If the general-in-chief required a calm, dispas- ities of the Confederation. Think of a government without -Bionate, and comprehensive paper, laying before Congress an executive, without a judiciary, without the power to levy and the country-some of the great questions of the Revolu a duty or impose a tax, without ability to inspire respect or tion, he had only to indicate his wish, and on the morrow enforce obedience, and that is the Confederation. As an there would be placed in his hands a document that would organism it had neither head, trunk, limbs, nor vitals. It have done credit to the best diplomacy of Europe. All the was an eviscerated myth, a mere shadow, a phantom, a way through, from Long Island to Yorktown, from York- ghost, a political nothing. From 1783 to 1787 the civil town to the presiden :y, from the presidency to Mount Ver powers of the United States were really in a state of chaos; non, this same tireless, watchful spirit, this same indefati and Washington spoke the truth when he said, in infinite gable genius went by the side of his chief, through evil re sorrow, that after all the sacrifices of war, the government port and good, sharing his trust, inspiring his counsels, and of his country had become a thing of contempt in the eyes delivering his wisdom and patriotism to the army and the of all nations. people. It is not to the discredit of Washington-for nothing The patriots of the time now came to see that only half ·can ever disparage that immortal figure—that Hamilton of the struggle was over. Through the grey cold morning *was his chief support, his oracle, and his guide.
of doubt dawned the solemn truth that though the war of It is not my purpose to review. at any length Hamilton's the Revolution was ended, the war for the Union remained
to be fought. Mere freedom was not enough. In order for vention. In answer to the rather puerile speech which freedom to live, it was necessary to build a temple fit for Patterson made in defense of his double-barreled presiher to dwell in.
dency, Hamilton walked into the arena and boldly declared It is not needed that I should here recount the deplorable his dissent from all the plans thus far submitted. The procircumstances which drove the Wise men of '87 into the ceedings here, said he, were of such a sort as to weaken his Constitutional Convention. A ruined credit, a bankrupt faith in the expediency of republican institutions. His treasury, a disordered finance, a crazy constitution, a dis own reading of history and study of pbilosophy had led him tracted commerce, a disintegrating people, thirteen ghostly to admire the British constitution more than any frame of states stalking around like specters in a graveyard and government with which he was acquainted. In the United making grimaces at a government of shreds and patches, States, however, where entails and primogeniture were such were the goblins that ruled the hour. The Wise men abolished, where no nobility could exist, where property saw and trembled, and so, acting from motives of patriotism was equally divided, and where the whole genius of the and the instinct of self-preservation, they came together to people was adapted to popular forms, the real and only exbuild they knew not what.
pedient thing for the Convention to do was to constitute such It is the truth of history that no greater task was ever im a frame of government as should secure English liberty and posed upon a body of men than upon the Constitutional English stability under a Republican form. The ConstituConvention of 1787. It was an hour of danger and doubt tion of the United States, now to be established, ought to in the general destinies of the world. The Confederation have, and must have, all possible solidity and strength in had ingloriously failed. The people, apparently satisfied order that Republican institutions might have a fair chance with local independence, had grown lethargic, and seemed of surviving, which they certaivly would not have if the to be shockingly indifferent to the general interest of the doctrines recently advocated in the Convention should prepation. The process of disintegration went on unchecked, vail. He was in favor of a single executive who should and civil liberty was withering from the land.
hold his office during good behavior, and of a senate whose About fifty of the leading citizens of the United States members should have the same tenure as the president. appeared in the Convention. On ass ling, it was the Hamilton closed his speech by offering for the consideration common understanding that the business in hand was the of the Convention a sketch of that form of government remodeling of the Articles of Confederation. A few leading which he should favor. His plan proposed a government spirits, such as Washington, Franklin, Charles Pinckney, of three departments; legislative, executive, judiciary. The and Madison, saw further than this; and very soon the is- | legislative department should consist of two branches; an sue of making a new Constitution was sprung upon the Con assembly, and a sepate. The members of the assembly vention. Indeed, with the progress of debate, it became should be elected for three years by a direct vote of the more and more evident that no mere revision of the old people. The senators should be selected by electors chosen form of government would suffice for the future of America. by a direct vote of the people. The executive should be Thus all of a sudden, and, as I believe, without any posi-chosen by electors who were in turn to be chosen by the tive previous expectancy on the part of the delegates assem people, and should hold his office during good behavior. bled, the whole question of government-government in He should have an absolute veto over the acts of Congress. the abstract and government in its special application to The judiciary should be chosen by the senate, and should the wants of the Western continent-arose upon the Con- consist of a supreme and subordinate courts after the manvention. Then followed such a clash of opinions and dis ner subsequently adopted. As to the states, very little was cord of interests as perhaps has never been elsewhere wit said except that the governors were to be appointed by the Dessed in a deliberative body. The ball was opened by Ed-chief-magistrate of the Nation. mund Randolph with bis “Virginia Plan" of government, I bid you mark this plan with care. It has two peculiar and this was immediately followed by Pinckney with his features. The first is that the power of the states, in matfavorite scheme, a part of which was afterwards incorpor ters of the national government, is absolutely annulled. ated in the Constitution. Then came the outbreak of the The dogma of State Rights is utterly sponged out. The smaller states. Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and word state is only mentioned in the scheme as if to emphaMaryland, with two out of the three delegates from New size its subordination to national authority. Secondly, York, raised the hue and cry that the small states were to everything is made to rest upon the people. The represenbe swallowed up in a great consolidated government-a tatives are to be chosen by the people. The senators are “monarchy" in which the rights of the people would be to be named by electors chosen by the people. The presiutterly engulfed. It was the first public parade of that dent is to be chosen by electors of the people. Everything black and spectral nightmare of American politics—the is as distinctly popular as it is distinctly national. The doctrine of State Rights. Here the line was drawn, and tenure of the presidency and of the senatorship is not for here was planted the seed of the deadly upas.
life, not hereditary, not based on a graduated nobility, not Vain would it be to enumerate the multifarious schemes characterized by a single monarchical feature. There is and inglorious projects of that Convention. Many of them everywhere strength, solidity, equipoise, centralization, were wild, extravagant, visionary. Some sprang from unity, but no monarchy. ignorance; some from misdirected patriotism; some were Ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution proposed by puerile and ridiculous. While the Virginia plan and the Alexander Hamilton in the Convention of 1787 is the scheme proposed by Pinckney were both before the Com foundation of nationality in the United States. He was the mittee of the Whole, the State Rights party, headed by author of that great thought. I do not mean that he origiPatterson of New Jersey, and Lansing of New York, nated the concept. The same grand idea had floated brought forward the “New Jersey Plan," by which it was through other patriotic brains. Franklin had seen the proposed to retain the old Continental Congress and the vision afar. Washington had seen it in the shadows. Ed. Confederative Union nearly as they were, and to elect an mund Randolph and Madison had seen it through a glass nually a double-headed president; that is, a plural or a dual darkly. But with them all, the thought had been vague executive. It was this absurd project which first called and undefined, shifting and uncertain. In Hamilton's conAlexander Hamilton to his feet. He was at the head of the sciousness it became a living thing-a vision of light and delegation from New York. Thus far he had remained a glory. He only of all the Wise men realized the peril and silent witness of the vain projects daily hatched in the Con the possibility of the great occasion. He only understood
the past, comprehended the present, and divined the future. state. Such was the popular horror and fear of the conHe saw as clear as day the one great fact that as between a solidated Union that its chief promoters were regarded, in consolidated Union and no Union at all there was no mid mary parts of the country, with an aversion only equaled dle ground. He saw that sovereignty is one and indivisible; by that which the patriots had felt for the ministers and and that to talk of sovereign states in a sovereign Union emissaries of George III. Patrick Henry, in a public aswas to utter a political paradox. And so he laid the axe at senibly, cried out with a loud voice addressed to Washington: the root of the tree. He said, down with the state. He “Even from that illustrious man who saved us by his valor said, up with the nation. He neither winced nor stam I will have a reason for his conduct. Who authorized the mered. He neither balked nor trembled. He neither paled Convention to say "We the people,' instead of “We the nor faltered. He walked straight up to the bad of greatness States?'” Unless this tide of popular prejudice could be with the step of a conqueror. In the folly and dissensions, stemmed and the apprehensions of the masses quieted by the truckling and mental reservations, the cross-purposes sound argument, it was evident that demagogical appeals and cowardice of the hour, he struck boldly for the solid would triumph over reason, and that the Constitution so ground. He rose and stood upon it. O, that his courage painfully and patiently elaborated would be rejected with had been emulated! O, that his temporizing colleagues had
disdain. rallied to that impregnable rock! O, that the spirit of unity It is not invidious to say that at this perilous epoch in our had triumphed then and there! O, that the genius of country's history there was in all America but one man nationality had risen from that confused arena with the in- who, by the genius within him and the forces of training, divisible banner lifted above the clouds and tempests! had the ability to carry the Constitution before the bar of
The purpose of Hamilton to build an American Nation the people, to overcome their prejudices, to conquer their ality directly upon the foundation of the people, without hereditary jealousy, to allay their fears, to convince their the intervention of the states, was the grandest project con- judgments, and to rally them to the support of the consoliceived by the statesmanship of the eighteenth century. dated Union. That man was Hamilton. He quietly underHappy had it been for the destinies of America and for the took the cause of the people against themselves. The plan friends of civil liberty throughout the world if Hamilton's adopted was conceived by himself, and his were the merits views could have prevailed in the Constitution of our of the execution. From his office in New York he began country. Just in proportion as they did prevail, just to the the composition and publication of those famous essays in extent that his sound and substantial theories of govern- defense of the Constitution, which will ever remain the ment were incorporated in our fundamental law, just in
pride of statesmen and the confusion of demagogues. that degree has the temple of American liberty been The Federalist was the herald of victory to the supporters founded on a rock. Just in proportion as his views did not of the Constitution, and of overthrow to the reactionary prevail, just to the extent that his comprehensive princi- Democracy. The calm and masterly arguments were read ples of civil government were thrust aside by temporizing by the hearthstone of the Revolutionary veteran, and his expedient and the miserable shufflings and patchwork of brow grew thoughtful. They were read by the young decompromise, just to that degree have our institutions been bater in the political club, and the opposition sat silent. imperiled, and the glory of the American name scattered to They were read in great halls and before assemblies of the the winds.
people, and no man in the ranks of the disorganizers had the The Federal Convention of '87 closed its work, after a courage to make answer. They were read with astonishfour months' session, by adopting and submitting to the
ment wherever the English tongue was spoken, and were people of the states our present frame of government. applauded to the echo in the salons of Paris. Gerry, of Massachusetts, and Mason, of Virginia, would In the composition of the Federalist, Hamilton was manot sign it because State Rights were overthrown. Edmund terially aided by Madison and Jay; and it is but fair to say Randolph would not afhx his name because the executive that the parts contributed by them, though inferior to the department was so weak and contemptible. Yates and work of the master, are worthy of the highest praise. In Lansing, of New York, had both gone home in disgust be these great papers, Hamilton had the disadvantage of pleadcause the Convention was trying to establish monarchy. ing the cause of an instrument which he knew to be in some To this day the name of Alexander Hamilton stands alone respects defective; but recognizing the fact that the Conas the solitary indorsement of the Empire State to the ('on stitution was on the whole the best that the spirit of the stitution of the Union.
times would bear, he undertook the advocacy of the great The influence of Hamilton in giving a final form to the instrument with all the zeal and enthusiasm of his nature; great document was almost as conspicuous and singular as
and such was the ability, the candor, the clearness, the prohis name. The illustrious Guizot declares that there is not fundity and soundness, the breadth and comprehensiveness in the Constitution of the United States a single element of of his work that the most renowned publicists of our century order, of force, or of perpetuity which Hamilton did not have conceded it to be without a superior, perhaps without powerfully contribute to introduce and to make predomi even a parallel among the political writings of the world. nant.
Meanwhile elections were held and delegates chosen to As soon as the work of the great convention was trans- adopt or reject the Constitution. In several states the opmitted to the States,
position had a majority, but the principles upon which the A storming fury rose
opposition rested were already sapped and mined before the And clamor such as heard on earth till now
assembling of the conventions. The supporters of the consoliWas never.
dated Union had scattered the Federalist into every State, The opposition members of the Convention became the
and everything except unconquerable prejudice had given avant-couriers of distrust and antagonism. Wherever
way. The State Rights partisans were reduced to the exthey went they cried out, “Overthrow of liberty!" "Tyr- tremity of repeating the senseless outcry of "Centralization: anny reëstablished !" “Centralization !” “Monarchy!" | Monarchy!” But the cry had lost its terrors. In MassaThe democracy ran to with vehement declamations. There chusetts and Virginia the battle was long and fiercely conwere no more tobacco plants to be set on the banks of the tested, but the friends of the Union triumphed; at evening James, nor apple-trees to be trimmed in the valley of the it was light. Hamilton's genius never shone more conspicConnecticut. If the Constitution had been at once sub- uously than in the convention of his own State at Poughmitted to the people, it would have been rejected in every keepsie. In the election of delegates to that body every
thing had gone against him! Two-thirds of the members I need not speak. Vain would it be to harrow the sensibilhad been chosen on a platform of pronounced opposition to ities and passions of our nature by reciting again the story the Constitution. Governor Clinton, president of the con of that malicious, cowardly, devilish murder. Little need vention, and many of the most eminent men of the state to recount the stealthy steps by which Aaron Burr apwere arrayed under the enemy's banners. That the great proached his victims, or to emphasize the one prodigious Federalist leader could win over these delegates and gain a mistake of Hamilton's life in accepting the challenge of sufficient number of votes to secure the adoption of the Con that libidinous assassin. For all this anger and sorrow stitution seemed beyond the reach of possibility. Day after there is but one compensation, and that is that in the eterday he stood up and led the swelling minority. Even when nal justice of things the name of the murderer has been not speaking his thin lips were seen to be constantly moving cast out with utter contempt and loathing, while the memin silent formulation of arguments that should answer and ory of the murdered statesman has been gently covered persuade. With infinite chagrin the opposition saw its with the blessings of his countrymen and the perpetual majority melting away; and when at last the news came in benediction of history. In the great park of the metropofrom the Potomac that the Old Dominion had given her lic of the nation, within sight of the spot where the young vote for the consolidated Union, Hamilton arose and said: collegian, fired with the zeal of boyhood, first raised his * Virginia has ratified the Constitution. The Union is an voice for the rights of man and the freedom of his country, accomplished fact. I move that we now cease from our con a grateful son, with the encouragement of a grateful people, tentions, and add New York to the new empire of republi- has lately unveiled a granite statue of his father, while can states." The effect was electrical. Even Governor statesmen, orators and poets, fair women and brave men, Clinton voted aye. The Union was an accomplished fact; with applauding hands and cheering voice have honored and the man by whose magnificent powers the grand work the memory of the illustrious dead. had been effected, bore from the smoking arena the laurel It is one of the peculiarities of our times to have revived crown of triumph.
an interest in Hanıilton's character and work. With the In the formation of his cabinet Washington tendered the subsidence of the tumult of civil war men have begun to secretaryship the treasury to Robert Morris. The distin look more thoughtfully into the antecedents of the bloody guished banker declined the position, but in doing so sug- struggle. This fact, more than any other, has brougit into gested to Washington that the one man in the United States clear relief the worth, the grandeur, the glory, of the Hamilwho was fitted both by studies and ability to create a public tonian Union; and this fact more than any other has made credit and to bring the resources of the country into active as odious as it deserves to be the pernicious heresy of State efficiency, was Alexander Hamilton. The prediction was Rights and secession. So the defeated but still vital apolofully verified. The immediate success which Hamilton gists of nullification and disunion, the old disorganizers achieved in the face of difficulties which might well have and their descendants, have gone to malign the memory of appalled the most courageous spirit, is without a parallel in Hamilton and defile his work. They say that he was an the history of cabinets.
enemy to American liberty; a bold, bad man; a conspiraHamilton became the real organizer of the new govern tor against the freedom of his country. ment. Upon the still youthful and elastic form of his old
It is a verred that Hamilton was a monarchist-a secret military secretary, Washington rested his powerful hand as foe to Republican institutions-a hater of the simple and on a pillar of support. Besides the pressing and responsible
severe forms of Democratic government. If this were true, offices of his own department just merging from chaos- then indeed was he a profound hypocrite and dissembler. the public credit, like Milton's lion, still hanging half- For no man could have written the preamble to the Consticreated to the ground and “pawing to get free"-Hamilton tution of the l'nited States and defended that instrument had to share the counsels of his chief and to bear with him in the ablest political papers produced in the eighteenth the burdens of the new nation. His state papers issued century, and at the same time have been a secret foe to Reduring the two terms of his service in the cabinet have been publican liberty, unless, his moral character had been on a pronounced the ablest ever produced by an American secre
level with that of Mephistopheles. If we open Hamilton's tary. His report on the constitutionality of a national bank, works--and it would appear that every man might well be in which he elaborates his favorite theory of the implied judged by the works he leaves on record--we find the charge powers of the Federal Government, is a masterpiece on that that he was at heart in favor of introducing kingly rule difficult branch of statecraft; and his great thesis on manu
into the United States utterly and defiantly contradicted. factures, embracing in its scope the whole policy of the Mark this his indignant language: government, such as he desired it to be, with respect to the "The idea of introducing a monarchy or aristocracy into multifarious industries of the American people and the
is one of those visionary things necessity of encouraging those industries by protective legis- that none but madmen could meditate.
But if we lation, is of itself sufficient to establish his rank as the fore incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a most publicist of his epoch.
The fabric of the American empire After retiring from the cabinet, Hamilton was offered the ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people; chief justiceship of the l'nited States, but he declined the and the streams of national power ought to flow immeproffered honor and retired to private life. In his adopted diately from that pure original fountain of all legitimate state he soon became the recognized leader of the bar-a authority.” Can these words have come from a man who leader without a peeror rival. For nine years-broken only was secretly on the side of kings and princes? by a brief interval in 1798, when he was called from retire Whence, then, comes the charge that Hamilton was a ment by the now aged Washington to become first major monarchist? Who is its author: I answer, a political opgeneral of the army in the expected war with France-he ponent-Jeffersou. He it was who niore than all others tocontinued the admiration of his friends and one of the most gether gave currency to this view of Hamilton's opinions distinguished citizens of the nation. What the future might on the question of government; and from this source have have had in store, what influence he might have had upon sprung all the charges and innuendoes against the political the destinies of his country, to what high honor that country integrity of one wlio is said by the historian Niebuhr to might have called him, will remain a part of the mystery have been as great as the greatest of his age. The charge of that clouded valley which Mirzah saw in his vision. that Hamilton desired the establishment of a monarchy in Of the occasion and the manner of the death of Hamilton America is not true. It is a partisan falsehood proceeding